Hall Wines in Napa Valley

Next time you’re in Napa Valley, stop by the Hall St. Helena winery, which was just completed last fall. It’s now on our list of must-visits, thanks to my San Francisco colleague Erin, who recommended it when we were there a few weeks ago. The Cabs are amazing, the tasting room is beautiful and our host, Scott Herrmann, was friendly, passionate and knowledgeable.

Hall Cabs – there were several labels open when we stopped by – are incredible. But first Scott persuaded us to taste the 2007 T Bar T Sauvignon Blanc. I used the word “persuade” quite deliberately – regular readers of this blog know that we are not big white wine drinkers (except occasionally during the summer). Indeed, it was a hot sunny day in Napa Valley and Scott was absolutely right – it was a perfect start to our tasting. Part of this wine was fermented in French oak, while the majority was in stainless steel. The result is a clean fruit flavor with a light buttery underpinning. It could easily become our white wine of summer 2009!

And the Hall cabs – oh my. We could have spent the entire day there.

Each one we tasted was better than the one before: 2005 T Bar T Ranch Cab Sauv (inky dark with “poetic minerality”); 2006 Jack’s Masterpiece (an awesome wine with a blend of 94% Cab Sauv, 5% Malbec and 1% Merlot); 2005 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon (the signature Cab Sauv, smooth and robust, winning 92 points from The Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast); and last, but definitely not least, Hall 2005 “Bergfeld” St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon — best described a few months ago by Wine Enthusiast, which gave it 95 points: “This is one of those Napa Cabs that tastes glamorous. Even people who know little about wine will taste it and go, Wow. And the longer it sits in the glass and airs, the better it gets.”

Frankly, we can’t wait to go back to Hall Wines!